Sunday, January 23, 2011


This search and reunion stuff is becoming increasingly hard for me to get a grasp on. I still intend to go back to Korea this summer, but now I’m thinking of putting off my birth family search, especially because I will travel without family or friends. The odds are not entirely predictable. It could be that my relatives are never found. Or it could be that they are which could make meeting one or some of them this summer a full-blown reality. And that scares me! How peculiar that must sound..that I’m intimidated by the idea of meeting someone who looks like me and shares my blood. But there you have it. Of the many possibilities, am I ready in the case that this one comes true? I’ve always felt more prepared for the possibility of never reuniting with birth family. They’ve never really been a tangible part of my life. Living without them is the only way I have known how to live. But I also know that a person can miss what they never had. Feeling like an outsider to my birth culture most of my life paired with the sudden death of my dad as an infant make me no stranger to ambiguous loss. You do not have to thoroughly know something or someone to long for their presence in your life. If I never at least try to search for birth family, I know I will regret it. Maybe for me the search process, regardless of outcome, is about closure. About knowing that I did everything I could.

I just don’t know if I can do it right now. Part of me thinks, well, if there is reunion and we maintain contact, wouldn’t I want to have as much time as possible knowing them? Being a part of their lives and me a part of theirs? I don’t think I could face meeting any birth family this summer by myself. The experience would be nothing short of surreal. Can a person even prepare for it? I cannot begin to fathom standing in the same room with my omma, studying her face, hearing her voice, embracing her.. It doesn’t seem real, but it could be. It’s something so completely powerful and beyond words. Something that would change me forever. I don’t feel ready to put myself through those emotions..or at the very least I cannot imagine doing it alone. If I ever go to Korea and meet my birth family, I don’t want to be alone. After that experience, I would want to be talked to and held by someone who loves me. Maybe that’s just me. I even sense myself feeling emotional as I write this. I don’t think I would be able to experience a reunion without the company of someone I know intimately with whom I can process and cry. At this point in time, any people I would wish to accompany me this summer cannot do so. I don’t want to do this by myself. The reality of it all is heavier on me than I thought it would be and I have not even officially initiated my search! It’s possible that even if I started the search now, no one would be found by time I travel to Korea, but there’s still that small chance, isn’t there? Maybe the best thing I can do for me right now is wait. And keep breathing.


  1. "it’s possible that even if I started the search now, no one would be found by time I travel to Korea, but there’s still that small chance, isn’t there?"

    Exactly...if theres a small chance then it most likely won't happen on your trip coming up. but if you start the search (which will take awhile anyway) and one day they're found you can proceed on in your own pace and terms, ex: letters,then pics,then talking ,then reunion.. you don't have to jump straight into reunion ,sometimes that don't turn out too well either.

  2. Yeah, I definitely like your point of being able to embark on the process at my own pace. Reunion is something I intend to take very seriously, so the last thing I want to do is end up getting rushed into it. Especially since any steps taken are irreversible.

  3. I agree with MMoon. Starting the search process, while scary, will help you build up to more interaction with the family, if it ever gets to that point. And remember, YOU are in control over whether you want to meet them. I would start gathering information before, and perhaps check out a few things while you are there, to start building that Korean-born Soo in your head. I know this must be tough for you, but am so proud that you are taking time to understand and sort through all these tough feelings. Hang in are doing great!

  4. Thanks so much for the encouragement Pix! It's a lot to process, but I think I'm slowly figuring out what I feel is best for me right now. I've always been one to pace myself as it is. :)